Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you only spray a 5-foot perimeter around the house and not the entire yard?

While you could spray a larger area around your home, keeping the area within five feet of the perimeter, referred to by fire officials as the “immediate zone,” is the most critical. Wind-blown embers rarely start a fire by landing on roofs. They ignite dry vegetation immediately adjacent to the walls, and flames burn into the eaves and through vents into the home. You might consider additional spraying in the “intermediate zone” (5 to 30 feet out), particularly if that area is filled with trees and other flammable materials that dry out over the summer. But the essential area is the first five feet. Our treatment creates an ember-resistant zone.

Fire officials recommend removing everything flammable within five feet of the house. Will this retardant spraying allow me to keep my plants?

Yes, it should. Spraying plants and ground cover in this area will create an ember-resistant zone that will act the same as if you had removed the plants and replaced them with nonflammable material like stones or gravel, as long as the retardant is not removed from the plants.

What chemicals are in your fire retardant? Are they approved by the FDA or other government agency?

There is a patent pending combination of components in Certified Advanced Firebreak™. The first is a food grade phosphate-based fire retardant. This ensures that an ember that lands on the sprayed area will not ignite the underlying material. Phosphates are also the basis for fertilizer, so your plants will appreciate the additional food. The other ingredients, also non-hazardous, create a plant food and fuel reduction technology, which helps dead plant materials decompose more quickly into healthy soil and therefore become non-flammable. The component ingredients we mix are procured as “food grade” and not toxic. The Safety data sheet for Certified Advanced Firebreak is available on request. The product is supplied as a dry powder to the certified trained technicians doing the spraying to mix into water for spraying. It has been classified as a non-regulated material and as non-dangerous goods by safety professionals.

Is this safe for my pets and children?

Yes, as noted above, all of the materials we use are non-hazardous and pose no risk to pets or children.

How is this different from that pink stuff that gets dropped from planes?

The “pink stuff,” called Phos-Chek®, contains a non-food-grade phosphate-based fire retardant but none of the other ingredients in Certified Advanced Firebreak™. The pink dye is added so that the planes and other firefighters can see which areas have been covered. They also include anti-corrosion ingredients to protect the aircraft.

How can it possibly work for an entire season? If you spray in May but a fire doesn’t arrive until September, how can it still protect my house? What happens if it rains after you’ve sprayed?

Certified Advanced Firebreak™ clings to plants, trees and ground cover and will not come off unless someone washes it off with a hose or sprinkler or there is heavy rain. In most cases, significant rainfall does not occur until after the wildfire season has passed. If there is unusually heavy rainfall during the middle of fire season, the property can be resprayed. We offer various service levels with different discounts for re-sprays in case of rain.

I installed sprinklers on my roof that can drench our house if a fire is approaching. Should I not do that? Will it wash off the fire retardant and make me more vulnerable?

Homes typically do not catch on fire because an ember lands on your roof, assuming your roof is made of fire-resistant material like composite shingles, metal, concrete or clay. Therefore, spraying it down with water is of little value. In fact, in many areas, your water will be cut off as fire approaches in order to ensure that fire departments have adequate pressure to fight the fire. If a rooftop fire sprinkler over-sprays and washes off the fire retardant on the plants and ground cover near the house, you will indeed make yourself more vulnerable. Of course, dead leaves and needles can accumulate in gutters and roof seams, and it's important as part of an ongoing fire prevention effort to regularly clean these areas.

Will the spray harm goats or cattle who graze where it has been applied?

There is no hazard, but the fire retardant is gone where the animals ate the plants.

Can I have it sprayed on my house?

Certified Advanced Firebreak is to spray on vegetation bark dust or mulch near your house. It will not work on paint or building materials and is not a lumber treatment.

How can I water my plants after spraying the Certified Advanced Firebreak?

Drip hoses or drip lines connected to a watering system get water to the roots without washing off the retardant. Sprinklers and Spray hoses must not be used where Certified Advanced Firebreak is applied. This is very important in the immediate zone.

How do I schedule service?

You can call or submit a request on our Arizona Wildfire Defense website. We will have someone call or email you for a day/time and understand the size of your property and the level of service you are requiring.